While some airlines are moving away from First Class, British Airways continues to embrace it. They’ve just rolled out the latest version of their First Class product, and it seems very, well, British. I like that about BA, even though I highly doubt I’ll ever sit in these seats.
I consider myself something of an Anglophile, so I like the traditional, stuffy British style, stiff upper lip and all. That’s why I was with Margaret Thatcher when she condemned those silly world tails. People want British Airways to be British. And when it comes to First Class, I want some of that traditional British service. Heck, you can put Mr Belvedere up there and I’d even be happy. So here’s what they’ve done.
If you know BA’s First Class, this seat will look fairly similar. In fact, the biggest difference is that, as you can see, Rachel Weisz is now included in the price of the ticket. This isn’t a Singapore-style suite where you’re completely and totally closed off from the world, so you and Rachel will have to be discreet. Some people may not be thrilled that they don’t have a closed-off suite, but for some reason, it really doesn’t bother me.
The one thing that really stands out is the window. I know that sounds dumb, but it’s incredible how much that impacts the cabin feel. Unfortunately, the BA stock photos don’t show the window very well, so I took the one that got closest. To see some great pics, go to Business Traveller’s coverage.
As you can see, they’ve put inside paneling that effectively eliminates the round window that we’ve all come to expect on an airplane. There are now blinds on bigger interior windows that, when closed, make you forget you’re on a plane. It’s a pretty cool effect in pictures. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on an airplane (undoubtedly as I’m turning right to go to a lesser class).
Some of the little touches are nice as well. For example, you’ll find a wardrobe in each seat so you can hang your clothes. There is also a leather-bound desk. Totally unnecessary, but then again, isn’t First Class in general?
The seat has been installed on a single 777 so far, but it sounds like it’ll be awhile before it starts going on to the rest of the fleet. Guess we’ll all just have to wait.